When we end a sermon series, we often ask ourselves the question "now what?" What are the implications of living out what we learn about God and about our place in His story? The conclusion of our “In the Beginning” series reminded us that throughout the Bible, we witness story after story of God using the most ordinary, and often least-likely people to fulfil His plans and do extraordinary things for God. How can we apply this series to our day-to-day lives?
I think one thing we must talk about are the things that inhibit us from saying “yes” to God.
Sometimes being open to God's plan feels threatening to the vision we've long-held of what we want or expect our lives to look like. Sometimes that openness even feels incredibly threatening to our very definition of success. What if God calls us to a life absent of our deepest desires?
For some of us, the shame of never feeling quite “good enough” hinders us from feeling worthy of a high calling on our lives. Sometimes we are so painfully aware of our own failures and imperfections, that we convince ourselves that God can’t use us where we are, so we slam shut the doors He opens for us to be a part of His plan.
Maybe you're the opposite. Maybe you desire to be used greatly, but you're just not sure where God is calling you. Maybe you see people around you are thriving in their area of calling, and you're feeling like God forgot about you. Or maybe you even experience an inkling of jealously because you see others that have been gifted in ways you haven't been gifted, and your gift just doesn't seem as essential and impactful as the gifts of the people around you.
I've experienced all of these feelings at one time or another, and still have times in my life where I allow things to hold me back from being “all in” when it comes to God’s plan and calling. Surrender can be so hard! In the times when I’m especially struggling, I try to remember the lineage of Jesus. His family didn’t have it all together. It was quite the opposite. We see generations of imperfect, broken, ungodly, disobedient people. We see many of those broken, inadequate people say "yes" to God right where they were. They didn't ask God to give them ample time to work on being worthy of His call. God's call on their lives to be part of His story didn't even turn them into perfect followers. But God, being perfect in His power, still used their imperfections to bring glory to Himself, and fulfil his ultimate plan; a baby Savior, sent to earth to die, and give the option of salvation and eternal life with Him to all mankind.
In all stages of their faithfulness, God shows up-- filling the gaps of their imperfections and shortcomings with Himself. That’s huge! It also takes the pressure off a bit. He is still perfect. He is still filling the gaps of our imperfections and fears!
Let’s talk about it!
What is the biggest thing that holds you back from saying “yes” to God?
What is a practical way you can use your gifts and talents to serve God right now?
Read Hebrews 11. What hero of the faith is the most relatable or inspiring to your own story?
Jake McGregor, Pastor of Missional & Spiritual Formation